Reuters

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Artist's Impression Of China's Soft Landing





The following clip seemed to sum up perfectly just what The PBOC is attempting to do (and just exactly how it will end). With Chinese equities entirely decoupled from any sense of fundamentals, elementary-school-educated people piling their life savings into a market that is up 100% YoY amid the worst economic conditions in a decade or more, and margin trading that is surging (and now being probed - as Reuters reports, PBOC Shanghai has asked banks to check margin trading risks); how could anything go wrong?

 
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ECB President Mario Draghi Attacked By Protester Screaming "End ECB Dick-tatorship"





It was bound to happen sooner or later: moments ago Mario Draghi was attacked by what appears to be a female (non-Greek) protester screaming "End ECB Dick-tatorship" while delivering his prepared remarks.

 
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Europe Will Be Very Angry When It Learns Greece Is About To Buy Russian Anti-Aircraft Missiles





Just days after Russia lifted sanctions on providing anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, Reuters reports that The Greeks are in talks with Russia to purchase missiles for the S-300 defense system. Greece, a NATO member, has been in possession of the advanced Russian-made systems since the late 1990s and in a defiant show of independence towards Troika, is now negotiating with Russia for the purchase of additional missiles and for their maintenance.

 
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NY Fed's "Plunge Protection Team" Starts Chicago Trading Floor "In Case Of Disaster Or Other Eventuality"





We have known for quite some time now that the NY Fed's market group, aka the Plunge Protection Team, is opening a second office in HFT-capital Chicago. What was not known is what is the official reasoning behind the Fed's move to be even closer to its Citadel executions arm. Overnight, courtesy of Reuters we found that the "The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago."

 
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Frontrunning: April 15





  • China growth slowest in six years, more stimulus expected soon (Reuters)
  • EU charges Google over shopping searches, to probe Android (Reuters)
  • A Chinese Paradox: Slow Growth Is Good, Stock Bubbles Welcome (BBG)
  • Draghi Seen Dispelling Duration Doubts About QE Program (BBG)
  • IEA Sees OPEC Supply Jumping Most in Four Years on Saudi Surge (BBG)
  • SEC Reaches Settlement with Former Freddie Mac  (WSJ)
  • Kerry says confident Obama can get final deal on Iran (Reuters)
  • Regulators Call for Short-Term Loan Changes to Handle ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ (WSJ)
  • Florida Doctor Linked to Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted for Medicare Fraud (WSJ)
 
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Vladimir Putin Is World's Most Influential Person Americans Say





The Russian President tops TIME's 100 most influential people list even as 60% of voters were Americans. Guess where President Obama landed...

 
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Crude Dips After EIA Forecasts Increased Oil Production For A Decade





The EIA's annual energy outlook has something for everyone as it attempts to forecast energy markets out to 2040. For the bears, US crude oil production is expected to rise (even more than they had forecast last year - before the price collapse) as it seems, according to EIA the only thing more stimulative for oil production than high prices is low prices. For the bulls, EIA exuberantly forecasts prices soaring to over $240 by 2040 in a high growth environment. Crude prices are dipping modestly from their ramp highs.

 
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The Exodus Begins: Oil ETFs See Biggest Outflows In 15 Months





Just as we warned previously (here, here, and here), the knife-catching, contango-crushed, BTFDers that piled over $6bn into Oil ETFs have severely underperformed this year. The USO ETF has fallen by more than 9% since the start of the year, whereas front-month U.S. oil futures have dipped by less than 3% on account of roll costs, and as of last week, investors have started to exit this massive position en masse. As Reuters reports, outflows from four of the largest oil-specific exchange traded funds reached $338 million in two weeks to April 8 - the first since September and largest since Jan 2014. It seems Goldman was right about "misguided retail investors."

 
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JPY Jumps After Abe Special Adviser Shows He Has No Shame Whatsoever





It appears being Special Adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe comes with great prerssure to toe the line - as opposed to advise. Koichi Hamada yesterday said USDJPY 105 was "appropriate" and USDJPY 120 was "too weak"... that sent USDJPY tumbling. These comments were reiterated in the early Asia session and adding that he "doesn't think JPY will weaken much further." We wake up this morning and reuters reports that he has entirely flip-flopped his views saying now that "120 is appropriate," and that he " would not oppose further easing." It's clear someone got a tap on the shoulder...

 
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Frontrunning: April 14





  • Shale Oil Boom Could End in May After Price Collapse (BBG)
  • Oil above $58 on U.S. shale output report, Mideast (Reuters)
  • Ackman Says Student Loans Are the Biggest Risk in the Credit Market (BBG)
  • Alibaba Disputes U.S. Group’s Claim it Tolerates Fake Goods on Taobao (WSJ)
  • Petrobras takes steps to avert a technical default (FT)
  • Yen’s Drop Is Approaching Its Limit, Says Abe Adviser Hamada (BBG)
  • 'Slicing and dicing': How some U.S. firms could win big in 2016 elections (Reuters)
  • Fed official warns ‘flash crash’ could be repeatedv (FT)
 
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"We Have Come To The End Of The Road" - Greece Prepares For Default, FT Reports





Update: as always is the case in Europe, nothing is confirmed until it is officially denied by officials, so here you go: GREEK GOVT OFFICIAL DENIES FT REPORT GREECE PLANNING DEFAULT

It should hardly come as a surprise that after the latest round of Greek pre-negotiation negotiations with the Troika, in which the Greek representative was said to behave like a taxi driver, who "just asked where the money was and insisted his country would soon be bankrupt" and in which the Eurozone members "were disappointed and shocked at Athens' lack of movement in its plans, and in particular its reluctance to talk about cutting civil servants' pensions" that the next Greek step is to fall back - yet again - to square zero: threats of an imminent default. Which is precisely what, according to the FT, has happened "Greece is preparing to take the dramatic step of declaring a debt default unless it can reach a deal with its international creditors by the end of April."

 
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Citi Writes Iron Ore Price Obituary





As Wall Street struggles to explain last night’s trade data out of China which seemed to vividly illustrate the notion that the combination of the yuan’s dollar peg and generally weak demand can and will take a devastating toll on the country’s exports, and as iron ore does its best dead cat bounce impression on the “psychologically” important news that Australia’s fourth largest miner is suspending operations, Citi is out with a rather dismal take on the outlook for iron ore prices.

 
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Frontrunning: April 13





  • As reported here first a month ago: The $9 Trillion Short That May Send the Dollar Even Higher (BBG)
  • As an instant target for foes, Clinton may struggle to get message heard (Reuters)
  • Emerging Stocks Rally 11th Day as Aussie Weakens on China (BBG)
  • Puerto Rico, Investors Enlist Ex-IMF Officials (WSJ)
  • Dollar’s Rise Reshuffles Global Economy (BBG)
  • Indonesia eyes regular navy exercises with U.S. in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • Banca Monte dei Paschi Breaches Exposure Limits to Nomura (WSJ)
  • European Bond Buyers Find Negative Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Bad (BBG)
 
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How NSA Surveillance Was Birthed From The Pre 9/11 Drug War





The now-discontinued operation, carried out by the DEA’s intelligence arm, was the government’s first known effort to gather data on Americans in bulk, sweeping up records of telephone calls made by millions of U.S. citizens regardless of whether they were suspected of a crime. It was a model for the massive phone surveillance system the NSA launched...

 
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Is Inequality A Bad Thing?





Whether today’s most feted “intellectual leaders” and policy makers are correctly diagnosing problems or misdiagnosing them, their proposals are never anything but viciously statist to paraphrase Hans-Hermann Hoppe. They seemingly don’t realize that economic freedom is the sine qua non for personal freedom. One simply cannot have the latter without the former. None of them seem to believe that people can be trusted to be in charge of their own affairs. The debate over the “inequality problem” is an excellent case in point. It isn’t as if the knowledge required to understand the problem weren’t readily available. However, most of these people were educated in statist institutions, and have rarely been exposed to any non-statist ideological viewpoints. The possibilities offered by solutions that do not involve the State in every nook and cranny of the economy and our daily lives don’t even occur to them. And of course, the best social engineering plans are always their personal ones.

 
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